Around here, pesto is King. I use it on grilled chicken, in salads, sauces and spreads, on pizza and sandwiches. And I freeze it in a baggie so I can dip into my little joy bank on a winter’s day for a savory-mouth memory.
This year the basil’s gone rampant in the garden. A bumper crop of fearfully gorgeous plants. It’s love at first sniff.
If you have basil in abbondanza or a bellissimo bunch from the farmer’s market, try this easy dish. I hate to admit it, but I am my mother’s daughter. One-pot meals make my heart do a happy dance.
Remember: Pesto. Is. The. Star.
Basil Pesto with Potatoes, Green Beans and Pasta
10 small new potatoes, 1/4 slices
2 cups of green beans
8 ounces of linguini (or whatever pasta you like)
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
Fill a large pot with water, potatoes and some sea salt. Bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they are just done, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the potatoes and place in a large serving dish. Do not dump out the boiling water.
To the very same pot and water, add the green beans and cook about 7-8 minutes. Remove and add the beans to the potatoes.
Add the linguini to the boiling water ~ yes, in the very same pot ~ and cook until just al dente – about 8-9 minutes. Remove and add the linguini to your serving dish. While the pasta cooks, make the pesto.
2 ounces of parmigiano reggiano cheese
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups packed fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
Place the cheese and the garlic in a food processor and whirr until fine. Add the basil and pine nuts and drizzle in the olive oil slowly until the pesto is thoroughly processed.
Add the pesto, a little pasta water, and a few grinds of black pepper to the serving bowl mixture and toss well.
Serve. Toast. Devour.
Did you know that the word basil comes from the Greeks? Their word, basilikon, means ‘king’. I keep a bunch of basil on my desk. It has no special significance. Unless, of course, it does.